Have you noticed that when TV inflation is discussed, the truly
guilty party is never mentioned. The advertisers, rightly concerned,
front up to the TV stations. The media buyers support the advertisers
and everybody occasionally lays blame on the BBC. But here I can expose
who is truly to blame: the consumer.
They’ve started doing things differently and made it dangerous and
expensive for those of us who still think what we used to do is what we
should still be doing (after all it’s less risky).
For starters, they just don’t act their age; or class. Even good old
BARB favourites like housewives with children have let us down. These
days the majority are working and bringing in a substantial proportion
of all household income.
They’ve started doing annoying things like shopping and banking when
they want, and choosing brands dependent on mood rather than ACORN
Worst of all, they have wholeheartedly embraced the multitude of media
that now exists to entertain them. They consume it when it suits them
and their needs. Today, more media is consumed, it is better targeted
and is designed to fit a mood and attitude. Media brands are providing
strong brand/ consumer relationship opportunities, with 62% of UK adults
claiming they never have enough time to get things done. ITV recognises
this and under Richard Eyre, has equipped itself to address such
So, back to TV inflation. However well Eyre does, TV inflation will be a
perennial problem for brands that use the old models of media
deployment, and fail to recognise consumer realities. In this new media
landscape those brands that embrace consumer change will do
Undersupply in media will not be a problem.
Developing more effective media routes to the consumer demands both
insight and a culture of challenge driven by the marketer. More judgment
needs to be applied to media than the comfortable numbers might suggest.
This challenge is not foreign to the world’s greatest marketing
Management consultant Collins and Porras recently identified management
commonalities between companies that led their fields: Procter & Gamble,
3M, Boeing, Sony and Motorola. One of their findings was that these
companies are consistent in maintaining their core values while
developing better strategies, and accepting mistakes.
A short-term, tactical response to TV inflation, such as boycotting
specific sales houses, might be good for morale, but will do little to
solve the longer term issues.
Time invested now in gaining better insight and developing only the most
brand relevant routes to the consumer will pay dividends. The real
danger is doing what you’ve always done, and every year, getting
slightly more disappointing results.